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News Link • Iraq

My personal testimony of the Iraq "war".

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I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in September of 2000, at the age of 19. Two weeks shy of my 1 year anniversary, 9/11 happened. I spent the next two weeks keeping F-15 fighters fueled up in case they needed to respond quickly over the skies of Seattle. Then I was deployed to Spain for 3 months to fuel tankers that would go up and fuel the bombers that were flying from the U.S. nonstop to pummel Afghanistan. Another 6 months after being back at my home base, I asked for and received a 3 year tour to England, which required me to add 10 months onto my 4 year enlistment.

When the U.S. built up in preparation for an invasion of Iraq in early 2003, I was shipped off to an Air Base in Kuwait. It was an incredible feat of logistics watching the base build up from nothing to upwards of two hundred fighter planes and all the support that it required.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
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The corruption is institutionalized.
Submitted by sethr11 on Wed, 01/01/2014 - 15:43. Permalink

A plastic dust cover for the end of aircraft refueling nozzle looks like something you could buy at a dollar store, however the list price for one of them was $40.

I needed one of those flashlights on a head band, it had to be ordered from specific suppliers and cost, $140, when I could have bought one on myself, for $30.

My brother also worked with me in Iraq as a contractor and the base commander wanted a big party BBQ built. They had no regular steel, so they had to use $10,000 a sheet ballistic steel to make it. More than one sheet was used I believe, the BBQ was an 8' across octagon shape.

Contractors were buying brand new H2 civilian Hummers for vehicles to drive around base on paved roads. With a cost+ contract, you get a percentage added on to how much you spend on the government's behalf, hence hummers instead of ford rangers to tool around base with your secretary girlfriend from the Balkans.

As I mentioned spending more meant making more, that is why the Gyms on base for the soldiers didn't just have $3 sweat towels, they had the gym logo embroidered and paid something like $50 for them.

Contractors providing meals to the soldiers were being paid by the number of plates served. So when a soldier would take an extra plate to cover the top of his food for takeout, boom! 2 plates served.

Labor hours were padded for billing the Gov, and extra hour here and there, rounding up. Fuel truck convoys came from surrounding countries like Turkey, and some of those guys would sell fuel out of their truck on the way, and then attempt to bribe us on base to say we received what their shipping manifest said for gallons. I made good enough money so I wouldn't touch their bribes, nor did I want to go to Federal pound me in the ass Prison, however I am very sure some other people were lining their pockets, even though I never personally saw a transaction.

The sad part was that turks were not always selling fuel on the way. Our fuel meters were not properly calibrated and it would short them. Those guys would make a 2 week round trip for $500 into a war zone (sometimes arriving with bullet, and RPG holes), and there employer would not pay them at all if they were off the gallons by more than a couple percent. They figured better to try and bribe $100, and make $400, rather than nothing. One of the guys that tried to bribe me, I refused him, and after pumping out the truck his gallons were right on. I told him "see, no need money, you are good".

When I hear people talk about how we can't cut the military budget or we won't be safe, that is garbage. You could conservatively reduce the budget by 25% if you eliminated the widespread and legal system of fraud, waste, and abuse. You would maintain the same military, levels. I think really it is more like 40% of the budget is wasted, but I am being conservative and going with 25% for sure.

Most of the higher ups running operations for the contractors were retired military Generals. Those Generals are buddies with Generals that are still in the military. Those that are in the military, want a nice job when they get out. One hand washes the other. The whole system is rigged by creating a supply chain of vendors that you have to buy an item from. I understand specialty items with limited options, but when you have to buy AA batteries from a single source on a website, they ramp up the price. If you suggest the military budget should be cut, you obviously don't want to keep America safe from all the boogie men, evildoers. Lol.

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